What You Should Know Before Finalizing Your Apartment Home

Finding the exact type of apartment can be very tough if you don’t know how to go about it. With a plethora of apartments, in various shapes, sizes, and amenities included within them, it can be indeed very trying to find the exact type of apartment you really need to satisfy your residential needs. Many factors contribute in deciding upon the perfect type of home.

• Location, places, and areas

One of the most important factor, and quite often the only important factor for some people and families, the location, needless to say, often decides whether you are going to stay in a particular home or not. How far are you from your work place? How far is the home from the school? Do you have any nearby groceries store or shopping malls? How far away is the local metro station? Does your spouse work? Would it be convenient for him or her to commute for shopping purposes and paying bills? All these questions are linked up with the location. The farther you are away from your places of work and daily activities, the more expensive it is going to be to afford your home.

• How big an apartment do you really need?

The size of your apartment also determines your monthly overheads. The bigger and larger the apartment, the more expensive it is to maintain it. You need to really consider how much of space do you really need. How many and what sized bedroom do you need? How many baths? A playing room for the kids? It is better to work out your comport levels and how much you can compromise upon. The smaller the apartment the lesser the rent.

• The construction

The material used in constructing the apartment often determines its resale value. The higher the resale value, the more the rent. If you opt for a total concrete apartment, it will provide better shelter and security, but incur more rent. On the other hand, an apartment having concrete walls but wooden accessories, and the construction supports a combination of wood and concrete, it will cost significant less to afford it.

• The bottom line

Everything said and done, even after considering all of your options, you still need to give it some serious thinking whether you can really afford to rent the particular apartment, or go in for a cheaper alternative. It always looks easy to afford an apartment, and most of the times, people are forced to afford one. The monthly savings are an important issue if you are employed. You might have a fixed income, and provide to your family in addition to keeping your financial commitments in paying the taxes and bank premiums. So think carefully before you sing along the dotted line.

Benefits of Leasing a Car for Business

Leasing a car for your business is a sensible decision. If yours is a small business or a start-up, leasing a car would prove handy because of lower cost, easy availability and other benefits. This article discusses briefly the benefits of leasing a car for your business.

Monthly payments

In case you purchase a car – new or used, you need to pay cash upfront in full or part. On the other hand, in leasing you need to pay only for part of the residual value. This leads to lower monthly payment.

Further, the overall cost of leasing a car is lower than when it is purchased because the lease period is a short one (generally three years). The lease cost is the present value of the car minus its value when you return it. You need to pay the interest charged and charges for the services. If the value of the car when you return is more than expected, you need to pay less.

It is a better value for your money as you can afford the car at a lower price under a flexible payment plan.

Tax deduction

Taxes to be paid come down because you need to pay only for the value of the car that you use. Further, the amount of interest is spread into multiple months, which results in a lower monthly amount payable.

In addition, as you will have the benefit of a tax deduction for leasing a car, it helps in saving a few hundred dollars.

Less maintenance

You get the leased car with full warranty from the manufacturer. This ensures effective remedial maintenance when needed. In addition, as you lease the car for a short period, you are likely to have fewer maintenance inconveniences.

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance

When leasing a car, you get the benefit of GAP insurance. GAP insurance is part of the lease deal. GAP insurance covers the remaining part of the value of the car to be paid by you in the event it is stolen or damaged completely in a vehicle collision. This value is far smaller than that of new/used vehicles purchased. For a small business like yours, it is important to take note of this.

Purchase option

You lease the car for your business, and use it as long as you would like. At the close of the lease period, you need to hand over the car to the dealer. Now you have the option to buy the car – a new one, or take another one on lease. You need not worry about the resale of the car.

As the owner of a small business, your business is prone to confront fluctuations in business for diverse reasons. Under the circumstances, each dollar you expend is significant. Therefore, when it comes to operating a car for your business, leasing can be an optimal option.

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Buy a Home Abroad Using Equity Release

Buying an additional property in your home country with funds accessed through an equity release plan is quite a popular trend. However, investing in a foreign property is also gaining popularity and can certainly pay off when it comes to taking a vacation and your eventual retirement. Just imagine being able to enjoy a holiday abroad without having to pay for a hotel room. Or how about retreating to your favourite spot in the world one day?

Whenever you consider purchasing a property in another country, it’s important to get independent, professional advice. Experts in this field are aware of all the latest trends, possible risks and the laws and regulations of foreign countries. There are many ways in which you can ensure that you reduce possible risks and get your money’s worth too.

The fist main tip is to ask about paying off the mortgage in that country’s currency rather than having to convert. Mortgage rates are known to be reasonably lower which will make buying a foreign property that much more affordable.

You should also establish how much you will require to put down as a deposit and how changes in interest rates could affect you. Enquire about any additional fees, whether they are upfront, monthly or even annual. You will need to consider all taxes, levies and other fees. As mentioned above, different countries have different laws and taxes often differ from those of your home country.

In certain instances, if you prefer not to deal with a foreign mortgage, you can use your entire equity release amount to pay for the property in full. So you will need to locate a property with a value that is either less than or at least equal to the equity release amount. That said, you should not simply rush out and buy blindly, you need to make sure that the property you are buying is in fact a sound investment.

Finally, before making any purchases, you must do your research on that country and look for the best areas to buy. You want to avoid bad neighbourhoods and you should visit this area at least once before signing on the dotted line. When you do visit, pay attention to various factors like where to find the closest supermarket, hospital and services that you might find handy. For example, a home in the mountains is a great place to retreat but these houses are generally far from civilisation. As such, in the event of an emergency, you won’t receive assistance as promptly as you normally would when living closer to the city centre. Take the location of your new home very seriously before making any final decisions.

Various Home Equity Loan Types

Equity release plans are becoming more and more popular for people who are looking to fund their retirement by cashing in on the value of the property they own. It is important to note that there are various plans to choose from, and not all of them are the same. By gaining a proper understanding of the advantages and potential disadvantages of each and every plan option, homeowners will be better equipped for making the right decision.

Lifetime Mortgages

This type of equity release allows the homeowner to secure a lump sum amount (tax-free) against the value of their property. The compound interest will only be due for payment upon their death or if they are to relocate to a permanent care facility. This is a particularly popular option since no monthly repayments are required. It is also a popular choice for those who wish to use their equity release to buy an additional property or pay for large-scale renovations to their home.

Drawdown Plans

These plans bear some similarities with lifetime mortgages. The most significant difference is that homeowners can access their funds in stages instead of a lump sum. This is quite a popular choice for those looking to subsidize their pension.

Enhanced Plans

These plans make it possible for the homeowner to release more funds than would ordinarily be possible. They are particularly handy when homeowners need funds to cover medical expenses.

Home Reversion Plans

This is another highly popular option since it allows homeowners to sell a portion of their home. The will still live in their home rent-free and enjoy property value increases as time passes.

Interest Payment Plans

These plans are somewhat similar to lifetime mortgages. The main difference being that homeowners can make monthly payments. These monthly payments are made in order to cover the interest rather than letting it accumulate and become payable once the plan comes to an end.

As you can see, each of the plans mentioned above has its fair share of benefits. Not every plan will suit everyone, and this is exactly why it is so important to seek independent financial advice. An independent advisor will be able to help you identify your most important needs and, with these in mind, can then suggest the best plan or plans from which you may choose. In some cases, plans can be adjusted slightly to suit your needs and it is certainly worth asking about before you sign any agreements.

How to Get Out of Debt Without Going Bankrupt

If you are serious about getting out of debt, you should have or be planning for a written monthly budget where every dollar has a purpose and a $1000 rainy day fund. If you have any other cash lying around, we are going to put it to work paying off extra on your debts, along with the cash from the newly developed income/expense gap.

There are two widely accepted methods for attacking debt. The first is to list all of your debts based on their interest rate, tackling the debt with the highest rate first. The second is to list your debts based on the size of the debt, starting with the smallest debt first. I will explain both and tell you which my personal favorite is.

Many financial advisors will correctly point out that paying off the balance that has the highest rate of interest first, is the smartest way to go. They are totally correct in that this is mathematically the soundest way to approach your debts. However debt is not just about numbers. If you are deeply in debt, interest is not your problem, the outstanding balance is.

To tackle your debts based on the interest rate, you would list your debts in order with the highest interest first, then the second highest and so on. Using this method, we would pay minimum payments all debts and put any extra money towards the debt with the highest interest rate. Technically this method makes sense but it just doesn’t have the emotional kicker that you get with the debt snowball.

The debt snowball focuses on paying off the loan with the smallest outstanding balance first.

With this method we would start with the same list of debts as previously but this time they are sorted based on the outstanding balance. The smallest balance listed first then the next smallest and so on. The major benefit of this method and why I like it so much is that it allows you to get little wins under your belt. We get to concentrate all of our efforts on the little credit card and knock it out pretty quickly, and then we go to a bigger debt such as a $5000 credit card. We then feel great because we have paid off one debt; we start to believe it is possible, it can be done. Then you can tackle a medium-sized loan of $10,000 and now it doesn’t seem so bad, because if we can pay off $5,000 we can pay of $10,000 and so on. By the time we get to the $20,000 student loan, we have already paid off several debts and now $20,000 doesn’t seem like such a difficult task.

The debt snowball method is listed below.

1. List all of your debts with their name and outstanding balance.

2. Organise your debts in order of size with the smallest balance first.

3. Pay minimum payments on all but the smallest debt and put all extra cash on this smallest debt.

4. When the smallest debt is paid off take the amount that you were paying off this loan plus any extra cash and put it towards the next smallest debt, while continuing to pay minimum payments on all outstanding loans.

5. Repeat step 4 until all debts are paid off.

The major benefit with the debt snowball is the psychological boost that you get when a loan disappears. As you continue through the process the amount that you will be able to pay off is going to increase dramatically. This is the snowball effect. You start off small, keep rolling and it gets bigger and bigger.

Benefits of Using Services of a Debt Collection Agency

Every company, small, medium or big that is in the financial sector always has ‘receivable income’ in the form of dues owed by customers. If you look at an Annual Accounts Statement there is likely to be a column denoting ‘bad debts’ or pending dues. Some of these amounts may be recovered, some not at all, or through long-winding legal procedures that can stretch through many years. The international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) estimated that in the mid 2000s, external collection agencies recovered debts to the tune of $30 billion annually. This is a whopping amount!

In such cases, companies may either deal with receivables through internal mechanisms or outsource the collection of such amounts owed, to external collection agencies. These are third-party commercial collection agencies contracted by the company to use the skills and resources that the agency has in recovering the amounts due. Such an agency is called a Debt Collection Agency. These agencies are governed by the regulations of the Fair Trade Debt Collection Practices Act and so they have the knowledge and the expertise of the do’s and don’ts associated with the collection of debts.

There are many benefits accruing from using a Debt Collection Agency, among these are:

• The internal accounts department of a company is usually responsible for collecting amounts due to the company; however, ‘ageing receivables’ as long-standing debts are referred to require a lot of time, skill and dedicated effort which may require intensive training. Since delays can cost the company extensively, a third-party service or commercial collection agency is fine-tuned to handle this job exclusively and therefore able to recover money that might otherwise end up not being recovered at all.

• Sales teams in companies that are owed amounts by clients are sometimes not paid their commissions or incentives if monies are outstanding from customers. This forces sales people to spend a great deal of time working to recover the money rather than doing actual sales calls or sales generation for future revenues. This greatly impacts the revenues of a business.

• Acquiring new customers is an expensive task but retaining existing customers is a key factor in the success and longevity of every business. Playing the role of ‘bad cop’ in debt recovery from existing customers is not a function that most companies look forward to as it can have adverse impacts with them. Using a third-party service to send notices for debt recovery usually spurs the person or company owing the money to get into action without seriously affecting relationship with the company.

• In business to business circles, the unwritten policy is to prolong bill payments for as long as possible to allow better cash flows. In some cases, unless a collection agency intervenes to demand payment, checks or outstanding amounts are not released against invoices.

• By paying a collection agency or agent a fixed salary for collecting debts no matter what the amount owed, companies save a lot of money which otherwise would have been spent on paying salaries and additional time and effort in training them to collect dues effectively. Most companies only pay collection agencies when the money is recovered.

Especially, for companies in the financial sector such as banks, extending lines of credit to existing and new customers depends a great deal on keeping ‘ageing receivables’ to the minimum. Only by fuelling growth, can banks succeed in achieving their target deposits and revenues. Therefore by using a commercial collection agency, the bank can expect to recover amounts early, retain customer relationships and credit worthiness as well as ensure that their financial books keep a healthy status.

Find Credit Experts and Certified FICO Professionals – Improve Your Score

Late payment of credit bills or defaulting from payment can seriously affect one’s credit scores. It affects a person’s credibility in securing a loan or a credit card in the future. This can cause dangerous repercussions and leave the person dependent on others for money. It is always advisable to keep your credit score clean.

But sometimes even the most organized person may end up with a bad credit score. Luckily, the law provides a chance to help the person out the situation. This is where the credit repair companies come into picture.


Credit repair companies have a primary goal to ‘improve the client’s credit score’. They offer legal credit solutions to help improve their client’s credit score. They study the report of the client to look for any inconsistencies. Once having identified disputable items on the report, they take it up with the creditor to challenge the report. If the inconsistencies cannot be verified, then the company helps you file for damages. Some companies also offer credit management services to teach the client how to maintain a good credit score.


A person must always be aware of the service they choose. There are companies that scam desperate people, who are badly in need of help. There are other companies that use illegal means like identity theft to make it look like there is an improvement in the credit score. It is illegal and felony to do so and if discovered, the person may face jail time.


It is very easy to tell a good company from a bad one. Here are a few indicators that it is a scam.

  • The company asks for payment upfront. Any citizen is legally entitled to pay the credit repair company only after the case is settled.
  • If the company promises to erase the credit record, it is clearly a scam. It is impossible to delete it. One can only improve the credit score.
  • When the company asks the client to create a new credit identity using Employer Identification Number (EIN) instead of the social security number, it is undoubtedly a scam company.
  • If the company asks a person to file all the items in the record as false irrespective of the validity, then it is a scam.


Self acclaimed Credit pros, may not be professionals after all, although as an industry they are one of the top sought after services in the country. Understandably, without money or credit life’s dreams are halted in a hurry. Be sure to look for a team of certified FICO professionals, who offer professional and legal credit solutions and help can anybody with a bad credit score. Check reviews and see if the company has a record of being successful and customer friendly in all their cases. The clients’ testimonials are a proof for the good work they can do.


  • Payment is accepted only after the client’s requirements are met and payment plans are also available.
  • The client can cancel their service at any time they see fit.
  • They offer life-time support for the cases they handle.
  • Team of FICO certified professional experts guarantee success and do not oversell.

If ever you have a credit record problem, you should be able to seek a free consultation from the credit experts. With upfront information and a proven track record, you can have confidence that you have found the right credit repair company to help you.

Credit Repair Services: Do You Really Need It?

Repairing credit can be compared to losing weight, there is no quick-fix! Just as it takes time to get rid of your fat, the same goes for the negative items on your credit report. Any attempt to repair your credit quickly is more likely to backfire, than to produce any positive result. The best thing that you can do in order to rebuild your credit is to be responsible in managing it over a period of six months at the least.

You need to be responsible in managing your credit, but what if there are errors and inaccuracies in your credit report that render it negative? The worst thing about such inaccuracies is that you are at a serious disadvantage, usually through no fault of yours. Unfortunately, a study by U.S Public Interest Research revealed that 70 percent of all credit reports contain serious errors.

Fixing these errors involves a detailed legal process which consists of sending dispute letters to creditors and credit bureaus, sending reminders, studying the documentary evidence provided by creditors and bureaus, and more. Like most people, you might not have the required time and expertise to follow through on all of these processes efficiently. This is where credit repair services can help you out. Now it’s important to understand that it will not be possible to improve your credit score in a few weeks. As previously stated, this is not possible even if the negative items in your credit report are due to error.

Time taken for Credit Repair
Creditors and credit bureaus are required by law to produce original documentation in order to prove the negative items that are present on your credit report. They cannot take more than 30-45 days to do so. However, drafting and sending dispute letters may take some time as well. Some people think that it is possible for any consumer to get his or her credit score corrected without any professional help, which is true but hardly practicable.

Anyone whose credit report contains errors can try to draft their own dispute letters and send them to the concerned parties, but it is time-consuming and it takes a lot of mental effort. Unless you are ready to take this duty as seriously as you take any other professional commitment, do not even try! Hiring a reliable provider for credit repair services, which would be a company that has more than a decade of experience helping thousands of customers with unfairly negative credit reports, can help you correct your credit score without too much fuss.

Credit report repair services are particularly useful when:

— The negative items on your credit report are due to accounting, reporting or any other error committed by creditors, credit bureaus or collection agencies. Genuine errors can be struck off from the reports smoothly when you go through the proper procedures.

— The credit repair service providers are good at identifying errors that cannot be verified. By law, if any item in the report cannot be backed up by documentary evidence, it needs to be removed. This loophole can be used by credit repair companies to improve your score.

— Some lenders are willing to negotiate with credit repair representatives of their consumers. If your lender allows it, this can help you raise your credit score.

Taking A Look At Bankruptcy Law

Setbacks are common in life. If your financial situation has spiraled out of control it’s wise that you file for bankruptcy.

Paths of Relief

Bankruptcy laws provide you with two paths for relief: chapter 7 and chapter 13.

Chapter 7 is aimed at helping you to cover the debts resulting from personal loans, credit cards, payday loans and medical bills. This chapter is most ideal for people who own less property. This is because your assets are sold, or liquidated in order to pay creditors as much as possible. If there are any debts that remain after the sale of your assets, they are wiped away leaving you with a clean slate.

For you to qualify for chapter 7 your monthly income must be less than the average income in your state. If you earn more than the average income, you have to pass a stringent means test in order to qualify to file chapter 7.

Chapter 13 on the other hand doesn’t erase debts. Here your debts are reorganized into a repayment plan. It’s good to note that while filing chapter 13 bankruptcy your average monthly income is considered. If you earn less than the average income, you have to repay the debts in no more than 36 months.

If you earn an average or above average income you have to make the repayments in 60 months.

Bankruptcy Exemptions

You have the option of using either federal list or state’s list of exemptions. It’s good to note that while you can mix and match the exemptions, you have to stick to one. To make the right choice you need to find an attorney who will help you out. In addition to helping you to make the right choice of exemptions, the bankruptcy lawyer will also help you in filing your bankruptcy petition.

Depending on the number of creditors that you have, bankruptcy forms can be as long as 60 pages which can be too complex for you. Filing for bankruptcy stops any collection activity by your creditors.

The bankruptcy lawyer will also help you in discussing any issues that might come up during the 341 meeting with your creditors. This helps you to be fully prepared and puts you at a better position of answering any questions that the trustees may ask.


This is what you need to know about bankruptcy law. To increase the chances of winning the case ensure that you hire the best lawyer in your area.